The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) has urged all agricultural contractors to ensure that they comply with the Public Health Agencies guidelines when working on farms, to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Strict measures have been put in place by the UK Government to reduce the impact of COVID-19 and it is vital that agricultural contactors are taking all precautions on-farm as well as off-farm, to support these efforts.
Agricultural contractors can be defined as ‘key workers’ and are exempt from staying at home due to their line of work.
The UFU is asking agricultural contractors to adhere to the following measures, when carrying out essential work on farms:
- Disinfect the interior tractor/machine cab daily
- Disinfect the cab door handles of the tractor/machine daily
- Do not carry passengers
- Wear disposable gloves when opening and closing gates
- Practise social distancing, and remain a minimum of two metres from others
- No hand contact with others such as the shaking of hands
- If in doubt use the telephone to check instructions
- Wear disposable overalls and change these daily
Commenting on the measures UFU deputy president Victor Chestnutt said: “We’re enduring the biggest health challenge of our generation. We each have a responsibility to protect ourselves from COVID-19. These guidelines will help to ensure the safety of our agricultural contractors when they are conducting essential tasks on farms across Northern Ireland. I would sincerely urge all our contractors to take the time to not only familiarise themselves with these measures but to ensure that they are fully implemented and followed not only by themselves but also their employees.”